The SLEC Book Market Receives Public’s Choice Award from CQCM

Great news was announced yesterday as the SLEC’s three-year-old project The Book Market received an award worth $1000 from the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité. The student project was the most voted candidate among several social initiatives undertaken by individuals aged from 17 to 35.

The video contest Coopérer, c’est faire ensemble! was addressed to young leaders who are involved in a cooperative experience on their campus or in their broader community. It aimed to highlight the province’s young cooperatives. Around the theme of solidarity, participants had to produce a short video showcasing their experience in a cooperative project. The producers of the video and proud winners of the contest are our members Christophe Bolduc, Christophe Caron and Justine Cantin.

About the SLEC Book Market

The Book Market was launched by the SLEC during the club’s second year of existence, in 2014. The project has four main purposes:

  • Allowing students to buy books for substantially less than the campus bookstore prices;
  • Allowing students to sell their own second-hand books in order to generate supplemental income and produce a sharing economy model inside the walls of St. Lawrence College;
  • Allowing members of the SLEC to acquire experience in operating a retail store on campus, from marketing and customer service to finance and inventory management;
  • Fund the activities of the SLEC and generate capital that may be reinvested locally at St. Lawrence.

The SLEC Book Market is now known as a must-use service on campus. Its client base keeps growing year after year and its dynamic management team strives to improve all aspects of the business on a continuous basis. Since its inception, the SLEC Book Market has accumulated a sales volume of nearly $70,000. This amount represents how much money the project was able to keep inside the pockets of St. Lawrence students over the last three years instead of having it sent to big textbook publishing corporations.

The project has shown an impressive evolution since it was launched. In the first year of the project, which was then managed by Daphné Laliberté, transactions were all treated manually on pieces of paper and then reconciled in a database created with the assistance of a faculty member. During the second year, when Jérémie Bédard, Billy Bastien and Beatrice Sunderland took over, the whole process was computerized. Sales were then processed on staff members’ smartphones and inventory could be tracked in real time. For this year’s edition of the Book Market, currently lead by Justine Cantin, François Plamondon, Amélie Pelletier and Christophe Caron, a custom web app was built by a SLEC member to aggregate all aspects of the book drop-off and sale processes under one single platform that seamlessly meets the unique technological requirements of the business. This year’s improvements helped dramatically reduce error rates while offering new business opportunities, such as accepting credit cards to increase customer convenience.

Watch the winning video right here: